Skip to main content

Pakistani official targeted, killed in suicide blast

From Shaan Khan, CNN
updated 1:54 AM EST, Sun December 23, 2012
  • A suicide bomb attack kills at least seven and injures 20
  • Pakistani Taliban admitted it targeted a provincial official
  • Provincial minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour dies in surgery

(CNN) -- A Pakistani provincial government official openly targeted by the Pakistani Taliban was killed Saturday in a suicide bomb attack, officials said.

At least seven people were killed and 20 injured in the blast at downtown Peshawar, in an area known as the "storytelling market," police official Asif Iqbal said.

Among the dead was Bashir Ahmed Bilour, a provincial minister who a Pakistani Taliban spokesman admitted the militants were aiming for.

Bilour died at the hospital while undergoing surgery, Iqbal said.

A suicide bomber detonated himself in the crowded market where the secular political party ANP gathered ahead of upcoming elections, senior police official Shafqat Malik said.

The Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility for the attack, which was aimed at the political party and Bilour, Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said.

"Bashir Bilour had received threats before," Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said.

The threats stemmed from the party's stance against terrorism, he said.

"I and him both were threatened by terrorist groups who warned they would cut our heads off," Hussain said. "Bilour stood up against terrorism so he was always under threat."

The attack will not deter the party's resolve to advocate for operations to destroy militant operations, he said. "Just because we are targeted doesn't mean we will back down against terrorism."

The slain official's brother called for the fight against militants to continue.

"He devoted 40 years of his life to politics and working for Pakistan," Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said. "We will continue the struggle, I am not afraid."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the bombing, saying the organization supported Pakistani efforts to "combat the scourge of terrorism."

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.